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Menards receives joint board's OK

The Bemidji Area Joint Planning Board recently gave its OK to the final Menards' plan according to the recommendations from the Bemidji Area Joint Planning Commission.

"Menards is very excited about the project and becoming part of the community," said Troy Bronk, Menards' attorney.

City Planner Curt Oakes said Menards and the city still are finalizing the details of the developer's agreement, but the project has received a green light.

While the board gave the project the go-ahead last week, so to speak, Bronk said the project really can't move forward without a signed agreement.

"Without the development agreement, Menards can not close on the property," he said.

The building will be approximately 240,000 square feet and be located on the former Spaulding Motors site on Paul Bunyan Drive Northwest.

"This is our largest prototype," Bronk said.

The store is expected to employ between 150 and 200 people. An opening date has not yet been determined.

The 11 conditions, approved by the joint planning commission and board, are:

-- Menards will consist of four parcels and one outlot, as identified on the final plat submitted to the city. The outlot will be used for tree preservation and parkland dedication.

-- Signage will be approved and erected according to the final plat.

-- Menards will communicate with the Bemidji Regional Airport manager regarding lighting, light fixtures, lights relating to signage and aviation easements.

-- Parking and landscaping will be built according to the final plat.

-- The intersection with state Highway 197and private roads within the development will be built according to the final plat.

-- Storm water plans will coincide with the city engineer's specifications.

-- Menards will address the concerns noted by the Bemidji fire chief and Minnesota Department of Transportation.

-- Utility easements and easements for a future traffic light will be provided by Menards.

-- Existing and proposed parcels will provide reciprocal easements.

-- Menards will comply with the developer's agreement.

-- Approval of the development is contingent on the successful completion of the developer's agreement.